DelSastre American Miniature Horses
Hello and welcome to DelSastre Minis! Firstly, consider yourself warned: American miniature horses are highly addictive! I’m sure most enthusiasts are familiar with the well-known saying, “Miniature horses are like potato chips, you can’t have just one!”. Well, as you can easily see, this statement is really true. My original plan of purchasing two minis turned into a small herd only a little while later. This is how it turns out for most people when they fulfill their dream of owning an American Miniature Horse.
I had my first live encounter with American Miniature Horses in the summer of 2012. I transported a mare freshly imported from the USA for a friend and realized that I would also like to have such a beautiful little animal in my stable.
Only a little later the first mare was bought. It was a spontaneous purchase via Facebook: Saw the photo, wrote to the seller, bought the horse! Everything exactly the way you shouldn’t do it ;-). But luckily the breeders didn’t promise too much. Together with another mare, “Juliet” (Ravenwood A Year To Remember) took up residence in the stable in November 2012. And of course it didn’t stay with two minis, they were just the beginning.
Back then I still owned a few Paso Fino horses, which sooner or later found new loving homes. At the same time I imported some more Miniature Horses and also American Shetland Ponies from the USA.
My small herd now consists of “only” five American Miniature mares, all of them double registered with AMHA and AMHR. This small broodmare group is completed by a triple registered mare, co-owned with Cédric Dubroecq, Elevage de la Buise in France. All of these mares have already proven themselves either in the show ring or breeding area.
On many photos here on the website you can also see mares I used to own, including some American Shetland Pony mares. The photos (and the horses) are too beautiful to not show them ;-). Under the menu item “Mares” you can find detailed information about the individual horses with photos and pedigrees.
All our mares are registered in the USA with the AMHA (American Miniature Horse Association) or the AMHR (American Miniature Horse Registry). In terms of beauty, character and conformation they leave hardly anything to be desired. My preference is for the elegant and not so tiny miniature horses. The AMHA only allows miniature horses up to a maximum of 34 inches in size, measured at the last mane hair. The AMHR does also recognize larger Miniature horses. They make a distinction between Section A (up to 34 inches) and Section B (up to 38 inches).
The goal in breeding American Miniature horses is creating the proportions and appearance of a large horse in miniature size. Personally, I strive to breed Minis who are competitive in the show ring while also being versatile and gentle to make great companions for every horse lover.
American Miniature Horses are very different from a “normal” or original British Shetland Pony. This is especially evident in the refined conformation and the much finer heads as well as longer legs. Also the stubbornness often attributed to the Shettys is rarely found in the American Minis. Most Minis have a very gentle, sociable and friendly nature.
American Shetland Ponies, on the other hand, are often similar in temperament and appearance to a large horse. They are sensitive, people-oriented and sometimes high in temperament. They can be the ideal choice for experienced horse owners who want a smaller but still demanding and very versatile, smart equine partner. Because of their size, they often excel as driving ponies and can even be used as a lead rein pony for a light weighted child.
American Miniature Horses in Germany
Beside breeding with high quality American Miniature horses, the natural raising and keeping of my small horses is very important to me. Since our stable was originally built for larger horses, our minis have plenty of space.
They do not live in tiny cubicles, but in spacious open stalls with attached mud-free paddocks. This includes daily exercise in the paddock trail with attached pasture in the group and individual feeding as needed. Regular hoof care, deworming and annual dental check-ups are a must.
Even the miniature horses, which we occasionally have presented at shows, live as natural as possible and spend their time – contrary to what some people assume – by no means wrapped in various blankets in a dark stable. Outside the show season, which only lasts from the end of April to the end of August, you will find plush little horses with a natural look that lead a completely normal horse life instead of highly polished show minis.
American miniature horses are people-friendly, smart and versatile. Most learn quickly and love to be kept busy. Compared to a large horse, they do not much work, but will give you at least as much fun. Whether they are polished to a sporty shine or have a cute plush look, it’s hard to resist the appeal of a miniature horse’s big beady eyes!
For ambitious miniature owners who like to see themselves and their horses in the limelight, there are shows according to American regulations, especially in the Netherlands and Belgium. There are countless so-called Halter classes, where mainly conformation is judged and where distinctions are made according to age group, sex and amateur status of the demonstrator.
More exciting for spectators are Hunter and Jumper (jumping competitions in hand) and also the Liberty class. Here the horse is shown running free to suitable music. And then, of course, the driving competitions with the various categories should not be forgotten.
No matter what your own interests are, a mini horse will do almost everything, be it ground work, circus lessons, driving, jumping in hand … In this respect, there is actually only one answer to the much-asked question, what exactly you can do with it: Everything – except riding!!!